Swimming: Night sessions go Cats’ way at TYR Invitational

John Paschall

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The Northwestern men’s swimming and diving team didn’t do itself any favors last weekend by digging itself into a deep hole on the first day of the TYR Invitational..

“The first day kind of killed us, not swimming as fast as we wanted to,” junior Charlie Rimkus said. “We were behind the eight ball after the first day, but the other sessions went fine.”

The Wildcats finished second at the TYR Invitational with 981 points, only 25 behind the winner Missouri State, which held the lead from the starting gate of the Invitational.

After Saturday’s events, the Cats found themselves only five points behind first-place Missouri State.

But the event that put the nail in the coffin was the 1650-yard freestyle. Missouri State had six swimmers racing in the final heat of that event and took five of the top six spots, including a sweep of the top four. NU didn’t have anyone racing in that event.

This was a classic example of a more far-sighted approach by coach Jarod Schroeder.

Though still trying to win the meet, the Cats’ main focus coming into this meet was to earn good seeds at Big Ten’s.

“A lot of our guys didn’t swim two events a day, ” Schroeder said. “When you try to win a meet, you have to put your guys in two events a day and in relays as well. It was a little bit of a mistake on our end, but we’re trying to put ourselves in a good position in terms of seeding purposes at the Big Ten Championships.”

The weekend also featured NCAA “B” provisional times from multiple NU swimmers, including Rimkus in the 200-yard butterfly and 400-yard intermedley and freshman Uula Auren in the 100-yard breaststroke.

“My goal was to go under the NCAA ‘B’ cut,” Auren said. “I was really happy. I went a little faster than I expected.”

Schroeder emphasized one word to his team after Sunday’s Invitational: focus.

“The one thing I talked to our guys about at the end of our meeting was focus,” Schroeder said. “When we are a focused group, we are really good. When we aren’t a focused group, we are an average team. We didn’t come out focused on Friday morning and it showed. We dug ourselves into a hole. But once we started to focus, we had great night sessions and it really started to go well.”

While the men’s team was unable to overcome an early deficit against Missouri State, the women’s squad jumped out to an early lead at the TYR Invitational and never looked back. NU led Illinois by 51 points after the first day, only to see its lead increase to 172 by the end of the meet.

“The morning was a little softer than what we wanted,” coach Jimmy Tierney said. “We didn’t get as many qualifiers in the upper meets as I wanted. We had responded each night so far, which was good. The enthusiasm was good to see. We talked a lot about getting our hand on the wall first and we did that tonight.”

Sophomore Erin Sosdian set the tone immediately for the Cats on Sunday, ensuring there would be no epic collapse.

She won the 1650-yard freestyle by almost four seconds over fellow NU swimmer Megan Goss.

The women’s team also saw two swimmers finish under the NCAA “B” provisional times: senior Jenny Wilson in the 200-yard and 100-yard breaststroke and junior Meredith King in the 400-yard intermedley.

The Cats swept the three diving events of the weekend, led by the seemingly unstoppable Lenz sister duo. At least one of the Lenz sisters, either Cosima or Felicitas, has won every single diving event NU has participated in this fall.

The men have their next meet in January against Carthage College, while the women head west to take on Colorado College on Dec. 16.

johnpaschall2014@u.northwestern.edu

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